Do you ever think to yourself “I wish I knew precisely just how much time I spent mucking around on Facebook every morning”? Even if that thought never occurs to you, there’s probably some area of your life that you’re curious just how big a slice it plays in your own personal pie chart.
Designer Nicholas Felton wonders and he’s created an iPhone app to measure exactly what he’s doing in life. The Verge reports the app is called Reporter and records one’s activities through a series of short quizzes, then analyzes those quizzes to produce data on how and where you’re spending your time. (Because you need to know how much time you spend eating cereal or watching TV on a Sunday.)
Felton came up with the idea after spending 79 hours collecting data about his habits in 2012 and then compiling a report on it in 2013 in which he found that was productive 49.3 percent of the time, and most productive on Wednesdays, with 57.8 percent productivity. He now documents his life several times a day with the mobile app that buzzes to ask him a brief question. The questions range from “Where are you?” to “What are you doing?” and “Who are you with?” Some can be answered with Yes or No, while others are multiple choice questions or allow you to type in a specific answer. The app also allows the creation of questions (like Are you hungry?).
The Reporter app costs around $3.99 and in addition to making you self-conscious about everything you’ll ever do, it allows users to reflect on their data with infographics. Co-developer Drew Breunig says that some of the most valuable insights aren’t from the infographs themselves, but the input of data. “I typed in M (in response to ‘Who are you with?’) and got my co-worker Mary instead of my wife Megan. It was a scary point when I thought I’d been working too much and should spend more time at home.”
Reporter’s creators want people to be affected by their personal routines and have an insight into behaviors that they might have previously been unaware of. “I have questions that tech can’t answer for me yet, like how does my behavior change based on who I’m with? It’s cool to explore the foreground of what will be possible,” said Felton.